Saturday, July 29, 2017

Ölbeat 286: Lehe / Vasileostrovskaya Ravnodenstvie

Brewery: Lehe Pruulikoda (Vasileostrovskaya - in Russian)
Country: Estonia
Style: Imperial Stout
Abv: 11 % 
What about the beer?
Colour is black with a medium-sized beige head. Aroma has milk chocolate, strong vanilla and even some berry scent - slightly luring. Taste begins with vanillaish dark chocolate. Roasted malts, dark chocolate and delicious vanilla take over. Towards the end fruity bitterness and coffee get mixed to the sweet vanilla-chocolate liquid. Aftertaste has dark chocolate, vanilla spice and dry cocoa bitterness - and it lasts.

Sweetish chocolate-vanilla dominated Imperial Stout. Chocolate chips and Madagascar vanilla used in the brewing really stick out in the flavour. And it's liquid perfection. Thick, strong and smooth brew - only thing that's missing is booze. But I don't mind. The strong collabs seem to work fine with Lehe.


Ravnodenstvie (in Russian) means equinox, the moment when day and night are approximately equal, which happens twice a year around 20 March and 23 September. So, choosing the album and the artist was easy. Since the brew is so complex and great, I probably should have chosen the whole album (Spotify, YouTube) here, but because it's one beer and one song, the choice between parts 4 and 5 turned to the victory of the former.

Jean-Michel Jarre: Equinoxe, Pt. 4 (YouTube)

From the 1978 album Equinoxe, the song was written by Jean-Michel Jarre.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Ölbeat 285: Ôllenaut Must Eksport Puidul

Brewery: Õllenaut
Country: Estonia
Style: Baltic Porter
Abv: 11,1 %
What about the beer?
Colour is black with a diminishing beige crown. Aroma has milk chocolate, vanilla, roast and coffee. Taste starts with sweet boozy roast. Sweet charred malts and milk chocolate take over with some coffee and vanilla flavours. Towards the end chocolate-malty sweetness gets joined with roasted smooth bitterness and spicy oak. Aftertaste has sweet vanillaish chocolate, bitter cocoa powder and malty roast.

Delicious sweet-spicy Imperial Baltic Porter. The bourbon barrel chips show their nature in flavour. Otherwise it's smooth layers of chocolate supported by roast and vanilla. Excellent dessert brew. Top of the art once again by Ôllenaut.


This is the 10th post of a beer brewed by this great Estonian brewery - hopefully the series continues*. Haven't had an ordinary beer from them yet. All step out of the pack and have been excellent. So the song choice reflects my relationship with their brews.

Apocalyptica (feat. Brent Smith): Not Strong Enough (YouTube)

From the 2010 album 7th Symphony, the song was written by Diane Warren.

* I count the whisky experiment with traditional Must Eksport in, because the beers chosen to the test were top of the notch brews. And other opinions don't matter.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Ölbeat 284: Käbliku Penumbra

Brewery: Käbliku Pruulikoda (in Estonian)
Country: Estonia
Style: Imperial Stout
Abv: 10,6 %
What about the beer?
Colour is black with a tiny beige lace. Aroma has sweet espresso, dark chocolate, roasted malts and spicy booze. Taste starts with sweet and bitter espresso. Sweet roasted malts and strong espresso take over with dark chocolate and spicy booze. Towards the end dark chocolate bitterness and boozy sweetness take over. Aftertaste has bitter cocoa, dry roasted malts and spicy alcohol.

Complex, simply superb Imperial Stout. Beautiful domination of dark chocolate and sweet espresso, not forgetting the solid roast and growing bitterness. Flavours seem simple but strong. Great work from this rather new Estonian brewery.


Umbra, penumbra, antumbra. All are forms of shadows - umbra the perfect one, while the others are partial. Or something. Well, at least there's a lot of darkness in the brew. Probably some perfect and some partial.

Children Of Bodom: Kissing the Shadows (YouTube)

From the 2000 album Follow the Reaper, the song was written by Alexi Laiho.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Ölbeat 283: Emelisse / Bad Hair White Label Barley Wine (Yura / Old Pulteney BA)

Brewery: Brouwerij Emelisse (Bad Hair Brewing)
Country: Netherlands
Style: Barley Wine
Abv: 12 %
What about the beer?
Colour is dark coffee brown with a thin tan head. Aroma has sweet chocolate, dark fruits and boozy caramel. Taste begins with silky milk chocolate. Fruity caramel sweetness and spicy-oaky whisky takes over with boozy bitterness. Towards the end sweet chocolate rises with warming alcohol and growing bitterness. Aftertaste has bittersweet boozy dark fruits, smooth chocolate and lasting warming alcohol.

Sweet, strong and delicious barrel-aged Barley Wine. Fruits, chocolate, caramel - all in aroma, delivered in flavours, too. The whisky adds oak, spices and booze and enhances fruits and bitterness. At least Old Pulteney is clearly present - and hopefully the name of the other whisky on the label is misspelled (Yura -> Jura). Despite one wrong letter, this is a magnificent brew from Emelisse.


Barrel-aging is based on experimenting with beer. This experiment was done with fine Scottish whisky barrels. So I searched for experimental rock from Scotland. Had some questions - the brew gave me excellent answers. And there we have it.

Biffy Clyro: Questions and Answers (YouTube)

From the 2003 album The Vertigo of Bliss, the song was written by Simon Neil.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Ölbeat 282: Hiisi Hati

Brewery: Panimo Hiisi (in Finnish)
Country: Finland
Style: Saison
Abv: 5,7 %
What about the beer?
Colour is hazy yellow with a medium-sized white head. Aroma has lemon, sour apple and yeast. Taste starts with spiky fruity tartness. Tart lemon and spicy fruity yeast take over with some wheat-malty sweetness. Towards the end sour-sweet citrus takes the upper hand. Aftertaste has sour-bitter citrus and spicy dryness.

Refreshing fruity and spicy Saison. Tart-sour citrus is nicely supported by yeast, wheat and spiciness. Fine summer ale from Hiisi.


According to Norwegian folklore, Hati ("He Who Hates") is a warg, a wolf that chases the moon to swallow it during the Ragnarök, an apolyptical event. The wolf is obviously hungry for the rock that the Moon consists of. In this classic pop song, there's some different kind of hunger. Norwegian electropop hustlepuff that the brewery recommends just doesn't fit to the picture. 

Duran Duran: Hungry Like the Wolf (YouTube)

From the 1982 album Rio, the song was written by Duran Duran.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Ölbeat 281: Pühaste Mosaiik

Brewery: Pühaste
Country: Estonia
Style: India Pale Ale
Abv: 6,9 %
What about the beer?
Colour is thick orange with a large natural white head. Aroma has orange, pineapple and mango. Taste begins with fruity bitter pine. Grapefruit and sweetish malts take over with piny side tones. Towards the end bitter pine and sweet pineapple get on top with malty sweetness crawling to the background. Aftertaste has heavily bitter grapefruit, sweet piny mango and alcohol warmth.

So, a truly tropical India Pale Ale with heavy Mosaic hopping and Vic Secret to bring more fruits. Despite the strong fruits there's some strong growing bitterness, too. Excellent delicious brew.


Mosaic is a pice of art, where pieces of coloured glass, stone or other materials are placed together to form a figure or a decorative form. Before it can be built, the material has to be broken to pieces. Sometimes human life can be like an ongoing mosaic: something complete shattering always, to be constantly under construction. Sadly, this song was about singer Scott Weiland's personal battle against drugs - a battle that ended to Weiland's death in 2015.

Velvet Revolver: Fall to Pieces (YouTube)

From the 2004 album Contraband, the song was written by Scott Weiland, Slash, Duff McKagan, Matt Sorum and Dave Kushner.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Skitbit Jul 2017: Olvi Tuplapukki

Brewery: Olvi
Country: Finland
Style: Malt Liquor
Abv: 8,5 %
It had to be dark...
What about the beer?
Colour is clear golden orange with a medium-sized white head. Aroma has sweet malts, grainy caramel and hay. Taste begins with malty over-sweetness. Sugary-boozy sweet malts take over with strange metallic liquorice-essence flavours. Towards the end sharp and minimally fruity booze strikes to side of the metal sweetness. Aftertaste has malty sweetness and alcoholic bitterness.

Yuck. Stingy sweetnees and spiking alcohol, otherwise just some other off-flavours. Gasoline, not beer.

In the natural environment
But since this cleaning agent was selected as the Beer of the Month in July 2017 at*, my taste isn't probably sophisticated like the more experienced beer aficionados have. More experience, more endurance, more expertise, more confidence, they say. And then you start to taste the qualities of an actual doppelbock or - Devil forbid - even barley wine in this crap. Next correct address would be the rehabilitation clinic, if the poor alcoholic bastard could understand what's best for him.

In addition, this beer has been the most sold beer in Alko** stores for years and one of the most "returned from Estonia" beer by Finnish alcohol tourists, so there's clearly something wrong with my sense of judgment. Probably it's simply that I still have one. I'll have to try again when there is realistic potential for some noticeable development, that is: at earliest in 2030.


Even though there's metal or even cold steel in the flavour, there's no balls here. So I won't put anything from Teräsbetoni here. It's pure camp but this asks something much more shitty and much more popular. Something that shows losing one's hearing the same way that enjoying a bottle or a can of Tuplapukki shows losing one's ability to taste and smell stuff.

If there is Hell, forcing me to listen this so-called song played on repeat over and over again would fit my worst nightmare of eternal torture. No, this is not what Finnish music should be known from. Neither should Finnish beer be known from Olvi Tuplapukki.

Mamba: Lauantai-ilta (YouTube)

From the 1986 album Lauantai-ilta, the song was written by Tero Vaara.

* The Finnish Beer Guide. Rating, information and forum site of Finnish beer drinkers/enthusiasts. The forum is a good place to share information and experiences about beer. Beer of the Month is selected by the registered site users. 
** Finnish alcohol monopoly. Resembles Sweden's Systembolaget and Norway's Vinmonopolet with the difference, that Alko sucks ass compared to it's Scandinavian colleagues.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Ölbeat 280: Guineu / La Quince Vanilla Black Velvet 2016

Brewery: Cervesa Guineu / La Quince
Country: Spain
Style: Imperial Stout 
Abv: 9,5 %
What about the beer?
Colour is black with a two-finger thick beige head. Aroma has roast, espresso, chocolate and vanilla. Taste starts with bitter roasted cocoa. Spicy roasted malts and bitter-boozy espresso take over with dark chocolate. Towards the end bitter dark chocolate and strong vanilla push the other flavours back. Aftertaste has piny-boozy bitterness and roast-cocoa dryness, and it lasts long.

Delicious spicy Imperial Stout. Chocolate malts and Madagascar vanilla really show up in the taste that has roast, espresso and bitterness of a quality impy. Though this is a collab with Cervesa Guineu, the brewers of La Quince impressed me with their brews and got me seriously interested in Spanish breweries.


No, Alannah Myles will never make an appearance on this blog. Since no beer can actually be velvet, they can only imitate it. Like in the world of fabrics velveteen does.

Lenny Kravitz: Black Velveteen (YouTube)

From the 1999 album 5, the song was written by Lenny Kravitz.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Ölbeat 279: Lehe / St. Erhard Endspiel

Brewery: Lehe Pruulikoda (St. Erhard)
Country: Estonia (Germany)
Style: Barley Wine
Abv: 9,5 %
What about the beer?
Colour is mahogany brown with a tiny natural white lace. Aroma has caramel, milk chocolate and raisins. Taste begins with sweet slightly boozy caramel. Sweet malty caramel takes over with boozy grapes. Towards the end soft milk chocolate and booze-soaked raisins with gentle fruity bitterness join the caramel flavour. Aftertaste has malty caramel, bittersweet fruits and alcohol bite.

Quite tasty sweet Barley Wine. The required qualities - caramel, fruits, chocolate and boozy bite - are nicely present. There's a bit of rawness in the taste that will probably be rounded by time. Fine Estonian brew.


Endspiel, the German word, means endgame, the stage of a chess game when there are only few pieces left. If we escalate the meaning to the worldly scale, we're talking about the moment of reckoning, in Finnish: tilinteon hetki . To put things straight I've turned a German name of a beer to a Finnish name of a song, just with only one awkward transition. In the end, it's a great smooth beer paired with a great smooth song. 

Timo Rautiainen & Trio Niskalaukaus: Tilinteon hetki

From the 1997 EP Hävetkää!, the song was written by Timo Rautiainen and Esa Moilanen.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Ölbeat 278: Moose On The Loose Scary

Brewery: Moose On The Loose Brewing (in Finnish)
Country: Finland
Style: Amber Ale
Abv: 4,5 %
What about the beer?
Colour is hazy brown with a two-finger thick tan head. Aroma has sweet caramel malts, dark fruits and raisins. Taste begins with sweet caramel malts. Caramel malts take over with thin roast and gentle fruity bitterness. Towards the end fruity sour bitterness steps beside the sweet malts. Aftertaste has slightly dry malts and bitter fruits.

Very good malty Amber Ale. Some fruit and roast present to support tasty caramel malts. Easily drinkable, too. Nice stuff for the first commercial brew - even though it was brewed at a friend brewery (Paloaseman Panimo). Well done, Loose Moose.


Just going with the theme. And waiting for the next hit from the Mooseman's jukebox.

Millencolin: Mooseman's Jukebox (YouTube)

From the 2005 album Kingwood, the song was written by Nikola Sarcevic and Mathias Färm.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Ölbeat 277: Beer Hunter's Mufloni Mandariini IPA

Brewery: Beer Hunter's (in Finnish)
Country: Finland
Style: India Pale Ale
Abv: 6,5 %
What about the beer?
Colour is hazy golden orange with a large white head. Aroma has stingy grapefruit, tart lemon and yeast. Taste begins with sour bitter citrus. Fresh tart lemon and bitter grapefruit take over with some pine in the background. Towards the end bitter piny grapefruit and sweet orange come out strongest. Aftertaste has sour lemon, bitter grapefruit and gently piny dryness.

Excellent citrus-dominating India Pale Ale. There's bitterness and sweetness, there's sourness an tartness. And of course, some piny bitter-dryness for the finish. This goes to the top sector of the Finnish IPAs I've had. One of Finland's best breweries has succeeded again!


"Don't you think I'm so sexy? I'm dressed so fresh, so clean." Well, I don't, actually. But the beer is fresh and clean. The beer isn't supposed to be sexy, it's supposed to be great. And this is.

OutKast: So Fresh, So Clean (YouTube)

From the 2001 album Stankonia, the song was written by Andre Benjamin, Antwan Patton and David Sheats.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Ölbeat 276: Nøgne Ø / Terrapin Imperial Rye Porter

Brewery: Nøgne Ø (Terrapin Beer Co.)
Country: Norway
Style: Imperial Porter
Abv: 9 %
What about the beer?
Colour is black with a small tan head. Aroma has roasted malts, spicy chocolate and sweet citrus fruits. Taste begins with roasted malty dark chocolate. Dark chocolate and roasted malts take over with hints of espresso. Towards the end spicy liquorice and bittersweet citrus get pleasantly through. Aftertaste has bitter citrus, dark chocolate and spicy sweet roasted malts.

Incredibly rich Imperial Porter. Rye malts seem to add spice, sweetness and thickness to the brew. Probably American hops give strong citrus and liquorice to the mix. The result is rich and complex parade of flavours. Damn fine stuff. Thanks go to the brewers of the Naked Island in Norway and their colleagues in Athens, Georgia.


It's black. It's heavy. Now it belongs to the secret stash of my favourite brews.

Avenged Sevenfold: Welcome to the Family (YouTube)

From the 2010 album Nightmare, the song was written by Avenged Sevenfold.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Ölmönger Special: Craft Beer Helsinki, 7 July 2017

I had already decided not to go to Craft Beer Helsinki (CBH) this year, since last year's memories were so beautiful, since I have a bunch of beer to be destroyed in the cabinet after Sober June and since - as every reader of this blog should know already - beer festivals are places not to go to because of A and B. However, a trustworthy old friend of mine, known as the Other Idiot, ruined my plan by offering his company for the event and a sofa to sleep on afterwards. You can't say no to that kind of kindness, can you?

So, off I went. The breweries of CBH came both from Finland and abroad - biggest names being BrewDog, Founders, Stone and - for the first time in the two-year history of the festival - Omnipollo. There were many craft breweries from Estonia, Poland and surprisingly Spain present, too. Since I've had some pretty good experiences with each of these countries, my plan was to push the big ones aside and focus on these three countries. And have some good Finnish craft beer on the side.

A view from when it started to get crowded
This was the second CBH ever, organized again by RH Events Oy, which was formed in 2016 by Helsinki-based gypsy brewery Humalove and event-organizing running school Runner's High. This year the event was held 6 - 8 July at the usual place, Rautatientori in Helsinki. There were 30 breweries and altogether around 250 beers present during the event. Entry to the festival with an ordinary beer glass cost 4 euros (with a tulip 5 euros). As the currency they used value loaded to a Seamchip card - like last year - that had a returnable deposit of 2 euros. The complete beer lists were available at site three days prior the first day of CBH - excellent work from the breweries and the organizers!

We - me and the Other Idiot - were at the scene on Friday at 12.30 p.m, half an hour after the opening. There was basically no queues, so we got straight to the counter and inside the area. No price lists were available beforehand, so that was checked first. The normal rate seemed to be 3-4 € for 15 cl and 5-7 € for 30 cl of beer but there was a lot of variation: the highest price for 15 cl seemed to be 6 € (Lehe Singularity, 18 %). Since we got excellent company on our table and good discussion, interrupted too many times by my stupid anecdotes, we spent more time in the festival we had planned. Despite the growing crowd from 4 p.m. on we got out as late as a little after 10 p.m., since we started to feel hungry and tired and didn't want to load more currency to the Seamchip.

Looked suspicious, tasted fine
This time we had to grab something to eat early, because we had missed lunch. Texas BBQ's pulled pork burger with BBQ sauce, friend onions and mayo tasted good and filled the stomach nicely for the upcoming beer challenge. Of course there was some festival extra in the price (10 €) but hey, it was a beer festival. Thanks to Keikyklubi for the recommendation.

The highlight of my festival - that will later be the lowpoint of a big bunch of other people's day - was being interviewed by a talented Finnish beer blogger from Bönthöö Bönthöö, an all-around guy of craft beer. We discussed shortly about beer, blogging and beer festivals and had a small dark beer tasting in front of the camera. Because the videos will be published later, I won't tell more here. I haven't shown my face in the blog or because of beer before, so this was stepping "out from the pint" for me. Probably my face will show up in the blog later, so all two and a half readers can truly scare the hell out of their kids or at least the annoying neighbour's stupid kids. In the end, I think the interview went well, mostly because of the professional grip of their crew. Big thanks and eternal hails! The link to the interview will be here as soon as it's published.

The beers - which will be remembered and which I'm trying to forget?

Let's start from the bottom, since the worst beer of my festival was easy to name. Sadly, it was the only one I took a big 30 cl doze of, when I got rid of the last 5 € on my card. Also sadly, the brewery didn't have either of my listed beers on tap on the moment, so I basically filled my glass by lottery. Well, this lot didn't win. The beer's colour started suspicions that I had picked a special sour ale - and I felt plain stupid. Indeed, there was a lot of sharp tartness and sourness of sour berries - more sourness than the used berries, blackcurrant and blackberries, naturally have. Then there was more tart and sour, sour and tart but nothing else. The whole party on our table tasted the stuff and judged it to "be an unbeer", "have something seriously wrong with it" and "belong to live in the sewer".

The worst beer of CBH and in a while
The diploma of the Skitbit brew in Craft Beer Helsinki 2017 goes to...
Tanker / Hiisi Silly Juice. If you see it, don't order it and never drink it. Just run.

Some short notes from the brews that were allright or good but didn't reach the top spots:
  • Bidassoa / Boulevard Brasil: Stout with chocolate, pecan and pepper. Expected more from the ingredients. Decent roasted stout though.
  • Deer Bear Blackout: India Black Ale with roast on top, citrus bitterness in the background and some harshness in the flavour. Nice.
  • Jakobsland Dumbstruck: American Pale Ale as the first brew of the festival. Grapefruit and orange in the flavour as expected. Nothing wrong here, but the style is getting dull.
  • La Quince More Brutal Than Session: Double IPA with bitter lemon and grapefruit. Quite fresh flavours, but needs more body. Tasty, still.
  • Pinta Atak Chmielu: India Pale Ale with bitter caramel and biting grapefruit. Slice of earthiness spoiling the experience. Huge expectations, small disappointment. Got better towards the last sips, which is always great. 
Then to the better end of the brews. I had couple of Belgian-style strong ales or quadruples or something close to that style in the festival. Both went to the top 5 but not quite to the podium.

According to the head brewer and owner Tarmo Tali, Lehe Klerre doesn't fit to the quadrupel or any other beer style, since Belgian yeast, candy sugar and lots of hops are used brewing the beer. The brewery describes it as a black hoppy Belgian ale. Aroma has caramel, chocolate and alcohol. Taste gives heavy and thick malts, gentle sweetness and even elements of red wine ending with dry and strong malty bitterness. Unique, thick and tasty.

Bidassoa Nexus is described as a Belgian dark strong ale by the brewery and classified as a quadrupel. Nevertheless, aroma has sweet spices, fruits and some sourness. Taste gives sweet spices, raisins and malts with decent carbonation in the start, and it ends with sweet, malty and spicy aftertaste. Rich, spicy and good but not unforgettable.

The podium places were conquered by one style that was - surprise, surprise - Imperial Stout.

The bronze medal goes to Käbliku Penumbra Port Wine BA. By accident, I got a full doze instead of a half that I ordered - got the other half for free - but I wasn't offended. I've drank the basic version of Penumbra recently and liked it a lot, so there were high expectations. Aroma has wine, grapes and moderate roast. Taste begins with roasted malts getting mixed to port wine, coffee and dark chocolate. Aftertaste is fruity and roasty. Fine barrel-aged version that's not over-dominated by the barrel, even though I like the ordinary version a bit more.

The first place is shared by two brews - just couldn't put them in order.

Sori / Stockholm Sweet Mistress Brandy BA is a barrel-aged collab Imperial Stout with salted caramel flavour. Aroma has roast, chocolate, espresso and caramel. Taste has caramel and chocolate with salty roasted malts. Brandy bites in the end with roasty bitterness. Excellent by-the-book Imperial Stout with caramel and booze twists.

The Nightmare on the left, friend's Summer in Vermont on the right
Orava / Cool Head Orwellian Nightmare is a filtered no-screwing-around (= no tricks nor gimmicks?) Imperial Stout by Orava Brewing, a gypsy brewery from Turku, brewed at Cool Head Brew in Tuusula. Aroma has chocolate, espresso, roasted malts and some spices. Taste gives strong flavours of dark chocolate and black coffee with a moderate smooth roast. Aftertaste has nutty and oaky dry kick. Remarkable show of recipe and brewing skills from a newcomer brewer - this is their 2nd commercial brew.

A view from the start - the queue is born on the Omnipollo counter
Overall the festival felt well organized. The organizers had clearly learned from the mistakes of last year. There were no problems with queues or the paying system while I was in the area. The only queues spotted were to the Omnipollo booth and, after the area got crowded, to the Seamchip loading booth inside the area. The first one, queue to get Omnipollo beers, got me wondering the reason for the hype. According to some Finnish beer blogs, there had been even longer queues to Omnipollo booth in Tallinn Craft Beer Weekend in the beginning of May. In Craft Beer Helsinki, according to some festival visitors, the booth ran out of some most craved beers on Thursday, the first day, and some other beers on Friday, the second day. Most of their hyped beers seem to be gimmick dessert beers that have flavours that I simply don't want to taste in a beer, even though I like chocolate, ice cream, mud cakes, peanut butter etc. Possibly some serious adults can set their inner child free only in beer festivals, where they allow themselves to have as much dessert as they want, because outside the fence it's completely forbidden. I don't know - anyway it seems stupid to stand in queue for average tricky beers when there are good quick and slow ones available straight away.

To compensate the fact that I had none beers with a huge wow factor in CBH, I was lucky to have the best company of the event - both in my home table and in the interview. Next year, the presence of the right kind of people in the event will be more crucial than the breweries and the beers available. That's what beer festivals like CBH are really about, right?


After a long break, heard this song one day. "I don't know what you do / but you do it well / I'm under your spell." Fits exactly to my thoughts, when I left for this beer festival, though I knew I shouldn't have.

Duffy: Mercy (YouTube)

From the 2008 album Rockferry, the song was written by Aimée Ann Duffy and Steve Booker.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Ölbeat 275: La Quince LLIPA!

Brewery: La Quince (in Spanish)
Country: Spain
Style: India Pale Ale
Abv: 6,4 %
What about the beer?
Colour is hazy golden orange with a finger-thick natural white head. Aroma has grapefruit, lemon and kiwifruit. Taste starts with sharply biting grapefruit. Bitter grapefruit takes over with sour lemon and herbal spice. Towards the end herbal pine rises in the line with grapefruit, some sweeter citrus lingering to the background. Aftertaste has strong grapefruit bitterness and lasting piny dryness.

Pretty tasty and rich India Pale Ale. Bitter grapefruit dominates, lemon, pine and herbs play important side roles. Texture has a malty backbone, but the beer goes down nicely. A Spanish version of CCCCC, perhaps? This works absolutely beautifully.


Actually it the comparison to CCCCC that got me to select the band, the album and finally the song. Both the band and the brewery have been in Finland within a week: Guns N' Roses had their pension money fu... err, Not in This Lifetime tour gig in Hämeenlinna last weekend, and La Quince brewery is in Helsinki in Craft Beer Helsinki and a pre-CBH happening this week. Pure coincidence? 

Guns N' Roses: Welcome to the Jungle (YouTube)

From the 1987 album Appetite for Destruction, the song was written by Guns N' Roses.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Ölbeat 274: La Quince Hop Fiction

Brewery: La Quince (in Spanish)
Country: Spain
Style: American Pale Ale
Abv: 5,5 %
What about the beer?
Colour is golden orange with a medium-size white head. Aroma has fresh grapefruit, orange and malts. Taste begins with strong kick of citrus. Fresh bitter grapefruit takes over with gentle pine and a twist of lemon. Near the finish sour-bitter citrus fruits come dominant. Aftertaste has bitter grapefruit, sour lemon and herbal dryness.

Fresh and great American Pale Ale. Lemon and grapefruit beat the mouth gently, but the flavour couldn't work based only to hops - the base has to be solid. Looking forward to get my hands to some other La Quince brews. Great stuff!


Brewed as a tribute to the brewery's favourite film Pulp Fiction and director Quentin Tarantino, this one leaves no options than to pick some surf rock from the film. The final sequence and the credits, here you go! 

The Lively Ones: Surf Rider (YouTube)

From the 1963 album Surf Rider, the song was written by Nokie Edwards.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Ölbeat 273: Vaat Blimey!

Brewery: Vaat
Country: Estonia
Style: Imperial IPA
Abv: 7,5 %
What about the beer?
Colour is white-flaky hazy orange with a large white head. Aroma has a straight flush of citrus - lemon, grapefruit and orange - with piny and fruity drops. Taste begins with piny bitter grapefruit. Bitter grapefruit-lemon juice with citrus peel and spicy pine takes over. Towards the end sweet orange-mango juice gets through to the pine-grapefruit mix. Aftertaste has freshly bitter grapefruit, tart lemon and dry pine.

Fresh citrus-packed Double IPA. A very good one, though I don't believe this to belong to the sub-style of New England/Vermont IPA's: there's a fine amount of unshamed bitterness, especially in the finish. Rich in fruits, pine and bitterness. Delicious.


Thought of bitter and fruity. Thought of Jimi Hendrix. Picked one song.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience: The Wind Cries Mary (DailyMotion)

From the 1967 album Are You Experienced, the song was written by Jimi Hendrix.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Ölbeat 272: Malmgård Eldorado Brown Ale

Brewery: Malmgård
Country: Finland
Style: Brown Ale 
Abv: 6 %
What about the beer?
Colour is dark reddish brown with a medium-sized natural white head. Aroma has sweetish malts, gentle roast and pecan nuts. Taste starts with sweetish malty bitterness. Grainy and bready malts take over with bittersweet fruits. Towards the end citrus bitterness gets on top with a caramel-malty side tone. Aftertaste has malty-nutty dryness and fruity bitterness.

Fine fruity Brown Ale. Grain-bread domination turns to fruity bitterness and finish has dry nuts. Quality brew from a not-so-interesting style.


El Dorado hops may have gotten its name from any of the United States cities, but I connect the name of the brew with the mythical city of gold in modern-day Colombia. The fresh approach to the beer style asks for a fresh song, so here we go.

Thea & The Wild: City of Gold (Video link coming up...)

Released as a single in 2017, the song was written by Thea Glenton Raknes.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Ölbeat 271: Pühaste Sosin

Brewery: Pühaste
Country: Estonia
Style: India Black Ale
Abv: 6 %
What about the beer?
Colour is black with a large tan head. Aroma has pine, orange and roasted sweet liquorice. Taste starts with roasted bitter pine. Bitter pine and citrus take over with gentle malty roast. Towards the end sweet orange and spicy liquorice get behind the piny bitterness. Aftertaste has lasting piny-grapefruity bitterness and spicy-malty dryness.

Superb piny, fruity and roasty India Black Ale. The rye comes out as strong malty flavour, as the overall feeling is smoothly strong. Really enjoyable brew despite the bottle being almost "too old" for the style.


Smoothness takes us away from the heavy area where the strong brews usually take us. There is still some nice toughness in the beer.

The Fabulous Thunderbirds: Tuff Enuff (YouTube)

From the 1986 album Tuff Enuff, the song was written by Kim Wilson.

Ölbeat 270: Stone (Berlin) Little Bastard Ale

Brewery: Stone Brewing Berlin
Country: Germany (United States)
Style: English Strong Ale
Abv: 4,7 %
What about the beer?
Colour is reddish brown with a medium natural white head. Aroma has malts, bitter citrus and caramel. Taste starts with malty and fruity bitterness. Dry caramel malts and bitter citrus take over. Towards the end piny bitterness shows up with some sweetish fruit. Aftertaste has dry piny caramel malts and grapefruit bitterness.

Malty and bitter sessionable Ale. Clearly the politically correct little brother of Arrogant Bastard. Much easier to handle than the big brother - in good and in bad. Mild but tasty.


Should probably check the big brother song choice after this, but I won't. If this track is compared to the band's actual hellraiser songs, it sounds like Lemmy singing Michael Bolton, doesn't it? 

Motörhead: Born to Raise Hell (YouTube)

From the 1993 album Bastards, the song was written by Lemmy Kilmister.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Ölbeat 269: Evil Twin Molotov Lite

Brewery: Evil Twin Brewing
Country: United States
Style: Imperial IPA
Abv: 8,5 %
What about the beer?
Colour is flakey golden orange with a large white head. Aroma has dried fruits, caramel and candy. Taste begins with caramel softened fruity bitterness. Bitter grapefruit takes dominantly over with some sweet citrus in the background. Towards the end malty grapefruit is joined by piny elements and pineapple flavour. Aftertaste has strong piny-grapefruity bitterness and caramel-boozy warmth.

Slowly growing, eventually excellent Imperial IPA. Fruity bitterness hits its peak near the finish, the caramel malts round the strong flavour nicely. It seems clear that the darker twin is my favourite - with a narrow margin, though.


The beer is a little brother of the brewer's Molotov Cocktail, a brew still to be tasted. Originally Molotov cocktail was the name of a petrol bomb used by Finns in Winter War 1939-1940. It was a "commercially produced homemade explosive" for disabling Russian tanks. Molotov Lite is expected to be something smaller, so I picked this song.

Lorde: Homemade Dynamite (YouTube)

From the 2017 album Melodrama, the song was written by Ella Yeilich-O'Connor, Ebba Tove Nilsson, Jakob Jerlström and Ludvig Söderberg.

Ölbeat 268: BrewDog Zeitgeist

Brewery: BrewDog
Country: Scotland
Style: Schwarzbier
Abv: 4,7 %
What about the beer?
Colour is black with a large but quickly dissolving natural white head. Aroma has charred malts, burned wood and smoke. Taste begins with burned salty liquorice. Charcoal-roasted malts take over with some meaty smoke and dark chocolate. Towards the end charred malts are joined by bitter salty liquorice and even some citrus flavour. Aftertaste has charred citrus bitterness and malty dryness.

We've come this far for the first Schwarzbier. Worth the wait - it's good. Some clearly porterish elements - a malt-driven brew - but crisp hops come out in the end. Light but tasty.


Since the brew's commercial description tells it to be a timeless classic - amongst the crap about similarities in BrewDog's punk agenda and Zeitgeist movement - I looked for a timeless classic to fit a good brew. According to a research on Spotify, this is the most streamed song of the 1980's. Thus, it's just the timeless classic I was looking for. Personally, I find this song just OK, not that great.

Journey: Don't Stop Believin' (YouTube)

From the 1981 album Escape, the song was written by Jonathan Cain, Steve Perry and Neal Schon.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Ölbeat 267: Victory Hop Ranch

Brewery: Victory Brewing Company
Country: United States
Style: Imperial IPA
Abv: 9 %
What about the beer?
Colour is hazy golden orange with a small white head. Aroma has orange, mango and pineapple. Taste starts with sweetish fruity bitter bite. Bitter piny grapefruit takes over with orange and caramel side tones. Towards the end pine and sweeter fruits like orange and mango step in the line with grapefruit. Aftertaste has sweet orange, bitter grapefruit and boozy pine.

My kind of Imperial IPA. More citrus fruits than biting bitterness, pine comes out supportive, not dominant. Alcohol stays viciously almost hidden. Damn delicious. Quite a salute towards the hop farmers from Victory Brewing.


No country- nor farm-themed songs fit the mood of this great brew. And this song isn't about the fields of barley, neither.

Gary Moore (feat. Phil Lynott): Out in the Fields (YouTube)

From the 1985 album Run for Cover, the song was written by Gary Moore.

Ölmönger Special: Sober June 2017 - Diary, Part V, Days 24-30

Finally - from both the writer's and all three readers' point of view - we've reached the last part of Sober June's tragic miniseries. As you've already read, it's been downhill and against the wind/wall/rocks the whole month so far. The last part doesn't make a difference. Any kind of difference. There'll be time for a deeper analysis later, or there won't. We'll see.

Some shit happens when the month changes.
Day 24

Midsummer Day. The plan was to attend former neighbour's birthday party in the evening. The theme was Bad Booze Bash: the guests were asked to bring old and unliked liquor bottles along, and expectations were that the booze would be consumed. Despite my theme month, I wanted to attend because of the people. However, the plan was bashed because of a sudden headache with neck and back stiffness. This has happened before: when a relatively huge stress - this time probably from organizing the family trip - is relieved, my body counter-reacts.

So, I drove the Mrs. and some neighbours to the party and came back to the house to rest, do some small chores and watch the rain. According to the lady, the mood of the party wasn't too high, which could be noticed when picking the people at night: nobody seemed to be drunk. Clearly, it had been a party for people having their midlife crisis.

Craving for a beer: 1

Day 25

Woke up early. Picked the kids from the Grandpa's house. Went running with a friend. Mowed and trimmed the lawn for two hours. (Lesson: Never let that green motherfucker grow for more than one week.) Prepared myself to get back to the office tomorrow. Damn, I almost forgot the work during one week off.

Craving for a beer: 2 (for thinking about the oncoming week)

Memories from Midsummer of 2016
Day 26

Back at the office. It was less crowded than a week and a half before: many started their holiday from Midsummer. Well, that equals less noise in the staff room. Otherwise it was business as usual at work.

At home looked after the kids which seems to require less time every day, since they seem to have developed some self-guidance and imagination. "They grow up too quickly", says the Old F**k. After last week's family trip have gotten back to some routine in physical exercise. Tonight did some pullups and abs. And felt great.

Craving for a beer: 3 (Saturday and July are getting closer.)

Day 27

Up at 5.30 a.m. Train to Helsinki. Walk to Merisatama dock. Boat to Pihlajasaari island. Whole-day meeting there. Boat to Ruoholahti dock. Subway to Kamppi center. Sightseeing in and some picks from Alko's flagship store. Train back to Pori. Home at 8 p.m.

Fast people. Slow vehicles. Long days. Short nights. Cold summer. Warm thoughts. Bright light. Dark... beer? Not yet. Next, please.

Craving for a beer: 5 (Stakes are getting higher, as is the pressure.)

Day 28

Monthly massage for the start of the day. It's always great to get muscles kneaded and stretched. The bad side is that I felt completely beaten up the whole day. But it's good for me.

Rest of the day was so ordinary that there's nothing to be mentioned. Except that I put a couple of beers to the fridge to wait for the weekend. And a friend  invited me to Helsinki for next week's Friday. When Craft Beer Helsinki is on. Absolutely great.

Craving for a beer: 6 (The last two days can't be that tough, can they?)

The right direction
Day 29

Too little sleep, too many things left undone. That's the way the month has rolled so far. The good news is that summer seems to arrive in Finland soon. The days are getting warmer. There'll probably be time to seriously hop to the saddle of the bicycle and get some missing kilometers in July.

Of course, the weather is the worst excuse for not doing it before. The real reason is feeling lazy and tired and keeping other things more important. I'll know in the end of the month, whether something - e.g. drinking beer - felt more vital than driving around with the bike. There are clear risks and threats in planning things too far.

Craving for a beer: 6 (Now, the craving for a bicycle tour is worse, around 8.)

Day 30

This is it. The end of June. At last. Today I headed to a friend couple's cabin to the shore for the weekend. My thoughts in a nutshell:

When the month changes at midnight, I hopefully have some strength to uncap a beer bottle and raise a glass to occasional beer drinking and my normal way of life. Cheers and thanks for suffering this month with and of me!

Craving for a beer: 8 (I'm sure it got a worse during the evening but that was the status at 6 p.m.)


I picked the theme song of Day 24 here. It somehow describes the background to start this kind of month for no obvious reason. 

Faith No More: Midlife Crisis (YouTube)

From the 1992 album Angel Dust, the song was written by Roddy Bottum, Mike Bordin, Billy Gould and Mike Patton.